Planning and development – The Ontario Municipal Board will be hearing an appeal on the urban boundary expansion. It is likely that the boundary will be expanded north on March Road which will allow for residential development as far up as St. Isidore.
Rinks – with the installation of the boards at the Sandhill Rink we now receive an extra stipend from the city which will help with rink maintenance costs.
Recreation – the Ottawa Mountain Bike Association and the City have been working together to improve the trails in the South March Highlands at Klondike and Second Line. There is new signage and a boardwalk.
Communications – The BMGCA newsletter, the Bugler, is being delivered this week – check your mailbox!
Events – The Winter Family Fun Day is this Sunday, Jan. 22 from 1 to 3 p.m. in Sandhill Rink. Bring your dog at 2 p.m. for dog treats and activities. There will be skating, hockey, sledding and free hot chocolate and cookies for BMGCA members. Bring your skates, hockey sticks, helmets and toboggans to participate in all the activities.
Rob Mahoney, from Radon Works, spoke about Radon Gas testing and remediation
January is Radon Awareness Month
Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the world
Radon exists everywhere – Kanata is a hot spot – but it’s only when it builds up that is an issue
Radon is a product of the decay process of uranium, which is found in the soil and rock here.
It’s not the radon gas that gives lung cancer, but it is the decay process. However, radon is what we are able to tangibly measure.
There are a number of different standards of what is considered a safe level. Health Canada says 200 Becquerels or 5.7 Picocurries. The American standard is 150 Becquerels or 4 Picocurries, while the World Health Organization standard 100 becquerels or 2.7 picocurries.
There are efforts underway to designate North Kanata as a hot spot for radon which would make builders have to build radon-resistant construction. That means the vapour barrier that goes below the concrete in your basement would need to be sealed right to the edge.
Radon is colourless and odourless so you won’t know you have a problem unless you test for it.
The effects of radon are cumulative. You won’t get lung cancer today from the radon you breathed yesterday. However if you are a smoker or have asthma, you may be at greater risk.
HOW TO TEST
There are several options for testing including:
It is recommended to test every two years, because things change underground which can change emanation points. Radon is heavier than air so it is recommended that you test your basement at the level you most often breathe (i.e. if you are sitting on the couch most of the time, where your head would be while seated.)
A five-day test is the minimum amount recommended to determine if you need to do a longer three-month test.
The best time to test is in the winter when your house is sealed up.
If your house is less than two years old, remediation is covered by your Tarion warranty. You need to have a long term test in order to warrant remediation.
Some developers are voluntarily meeting the radon-resistant construction standard now because it is cheaper to do when building than after construction.
If you test before one year with a 24 hour test, you can get an extension to your warranty to do a three-month test.
Reducing the level of radon in your home is done by drilling a hole in the concrete slab in your basement and installing a high suction fan to discharge air outside. It’s very simple to do and it costs about $6 a month to run the fan.
In our neighbourhood where construction quality is high, the cost of a remediation system is between $2,000 and $2,500.
HRV will reduce the level of radon in your home, as will opening windows, however radon will continue to build up again once the windows are closed.
It is becoming more common to have radon remediation affect real estate transactions.
City update from Coun. Marianne Wilkinson
Sandhill Rink will likely be renamed this year for Juanita Snelgrove, who is a descendent of the Pinhey Family. She is 95 years old and the councillors wants to get a park named after her while she is still alive.
Statewood is now opened to Terry Fox. A staff recommendation coming to planning committee in February will just be an information report. The city opened it mistakenly and then closed it again, so they put in speed humps in a week when there is usually a 20-year waiting list in Ottawa for speed humps. The blocks are temporary because they couldn’t build permanent ones in this weather.
The sensors at Second line and Terry Fox will be fixed in the spring.
Parking on Second line is an issue for access to the South March Highlands. City staff don’t want to put parking there because it is a really sensitive part of the forest. It is legal to park on Second Line and on Brady so there is little the city can do to stop people.
The beaver dams have been cut which has drained Heron Pond completely. However, the land is privately owned so the city can’t stop them. The councillor is trying to get the developer to donate the land to the city because they can’t build on it anyway.
The pond will come back if the beavers are allowed to build again.
There was a major study on the Kizell Drain last year which showed more water than in the developer’s plan. What that means is there will likely have to be storm water management ponds – which would mean we would lose some of the environmental lands because ponds count as greenspace. There is a chance of trading land to preserve land which is more valuable for recreation. There will be public meetings when it is done.
The piece of land between Sandhill and March Road, just south of Klondike, needs a zoning change for Minto to build there. It is zoned for holding now.
The councillor has been working to get a pathway on Klondike from March to Sandhill.
She is trying to get better bus service in the business park because people can’t get to work. There is a good possibility that the 93 will soon be offered in both directions.
It’s illegal to plow out your driveway on to the road and you can be fined for it.
If you see people parking overnight and impeding the plows, call 311. Bylaw only comes out on a complaints basis.
The city has a twitter feed to let people know about snow advisories and when they can’t park on the street. Winter overnight parking restrictions are in effect when the forecast calls for 7 cm or more in accumulation. The city will ticket and tow cars if needed.
Speeding is still a huge problem. When testing on Sandhill some cars were going over 100 km/h during the day. It is almost always residents. If you get a licence plate number, call Community Police Officer Const. Ryan Strottman at 613-236-1222, ext. 2005 or call 311 and they will pass it on. They will go and talk to them and give them a warning.
Next winter green bin pickup will be once a week. Once pickup goes to once a week in the spring, then it will stay once a week permanently. Garbage pickup will be every two weeks starting in the fall.
Goulbourn Forced Road connection to Terry Fox will have to wait for the development of the KNL subdivision. It is in the city budget to do to it in 2014, but the road needs to be done at the same time as sewer works. Until the drainage is figured out, Goulbourn Forced Road will stay at its present location. It will eventually hit Terry Fox west of Second Line.